The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year, but not all the time and not for everyone. Sometimes there is so much cooking, cleaning and hosting to do that we don’t have any fun. Other times, our different family members are at each others’ throats. For many families, it may be the only time of year everyone is together and sometimes we use it for praise and other times it’s an endless time of criticism. Here are a few tips (including Tai Chi!) for reduced holiday stress and anxiety.
1. Plan Ahead
One of the most stressful things about the holidays is the mad rush of last-minute planning and shopping. You can avoid a lot of the stress by planning your shopping and outings ahead. You may opt to shop online or shop early (for some people that’s as early as the day after Christmas for the following Christmas which features huge price cuts).
2. Have the Serenity to Accept…
…the things you cannot change, change those you can and the wisdom to know the difference. You may not be able to control your emotions, but sometimes it is prudent to avoid places and situations that get you riled up. If that’s not an option, you may at least try to control what you do with your reaction. If you have a mother who never believes you cook anything right, don’t try to prove her wrong. Let everyone else enjoy your meal and when she says something just smile. If you have an overly critical cousin twice-removed who makes everyone upset and cry every single year, don’t invite her, or tell her nobody wants to hear all that negativity! Remember: insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Try some Tai Chi to calm down instead!
3. Remember What it’s All About
For some people, the holidays are religious. For others, they are a time for family and for others a time to relax. Other people even have to work during the holidays so it’s just another day. So many people suffer from anxiety trying to make the perfect roast, the perfect tree, a million perfect gifts and a smile 100% of the time. Unless you magically turn into superman/woman every holiday season, you should not expect to achieve perfection. Plus, your family loves you for you and maybe even for your pie (but they would still love you without your pie). A practical way to reduce the stress and expense of buying gifts is to do a fun white elephant gift exchange or by assigning each person one person to shop for and that person alone. Or, you can give a loved one the gift of Tai Chi by visiting our store or by teaching them a few movements yourself. At the heart of it all, just focus on the true meaning of the holidays for you and yours and stop trying to drive yourself crazy with everything else.
4. Practice Tai Chi
When it all becomes too much, take a break and do some Tai Chi. Whether you are at home or you will be traveling, you will still be able to do Tai Chi since it does not require any special equipment. Tai Chi will help de-stress, relax, breathe easy and sleep well. Taking care of yourself during hectic/busy times is very important. Excessive stress, poor sleep and reduced physical activity can lead to a compromised immune system and lead to illness. Don’t end your holiday by being sick. Do Tai Chi and hopefully you will ring in the new year healthier and happier.